The Bold Voice of J&K

Nothing new

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The second list released by the Congress comprising names of 69 candidates for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections has nothing new for the voters as the party has retained seniors in their own constituencies. The party has repeated all its sitting legislators and ministers including Sham Lal Sharma from Akhnoor, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand from Chhamb and Raman Bhalla from Gandhi Nagar in Jammu District. Similarly, other ministers including Taj Mohiuddin and Peerzada Sayeed have been fielded again from Uri and Kokernag seats of the Valley respectively. What is interesting to watch is Sonawar, from where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is fighting the elections this time, where Congress has fielded a Kashmiri Pandit woman candidate Khem Lata Wakhloo against him. The party has fielded candidates from all those seats where its present ruling coalition partner, National Conference (NC) has also fielded candidates. It would be interesting to watch how the two ruling allies claim credit for the good work done during the last six years and at the same time blame each other for the failures of the coalition. The two main Opposition – PDP and BJP – are showcasing poor track record of the Cong-NC alliance in their public meetings to woo the electorate in their favour.  In the absence of any formal commitment from the top brass of the Congress, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is leading the campaign with hard selling development agenda. Knowing well the erstwhile Doda district holds key to power for the Congress Party in the coming elections, Azad is not even shying away from launching veiled attack on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for ignoring the development of this region. After losing the Lok Sabha polls with a huge margin of 60,000 votes Azad is facing a daunting task of retaining all five seats in the region. Azad opted to keep himself out of the race, but is playing the role of star campaigner of the party.

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